Batman '66 #43, DC Comics

 

If you haven't been keeping up with Batman '66, DC Comics' digital-first series based on the classic Adam West/Burt Ward television show, rest assured that it has continued to be awesome. Recent issues have seen a terrifying team-up with the Joker and Catwoman, a sinister plot to create a television adaptation of Batman's adventures, and -- perhaps most awesome of all -- the debut of a giant robot version of Batman that fought crime with the power of jet boots and rocket fists. It's... It's pretty great, y'all.

But one of the more interesting things about the last few episodes -- er, issues is that they've thrown the spotlight on some of the more obscure villains from the show who never made it in the comics, like the Minstrel and Bookworm, and this week, it's the harrowing, haunting return of the Black Widow! Not to be confused with Marvel's Natasha Romanoff or Scarlett Johansson.

Originally portrayed by Tallulah Bankhead, Black Widow is arguably the most obscure special guest villain in the Batman show's history, largely because she was one of the rarest things to find on that show: A foe for Batman who was taken completely seriously. It's really only Black Widow and False-Face (who is frigging terrifying) that have that distinction -- at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, Julie Newmar even mentioned that Bankhead was the only guest star she knew of who "didn't get the joke," leading to an episode that seems strange even by the standards of Batman.

But it is interesting, especially since Jeff Parker and Wilfredo Torres seem to be taking the same tactic for their story almost 50 years later. Sure, there are still bizarre thematic deathtraps, but there's also a subplot about the Penguin, the most social of all arch-criminals, being kind of terrified by Black Widow, who's taking this whole murder thing a little too far.

 

Here's your exclusive first look at some portions of the new chapter:

 

 

The new chapter of Batman '66 will be on sale at Comixology tomorrow!